Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound
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  1. #1
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    Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    Read this: vacuum tube output stage, upgradable digital section, discrete DSD DAC/ DSD256 (quad)/ MQA/ 384kHz PCM, Roon ready, ext power supply. The tech specs make you want this, the sound makes you desire it. So many candy features added to one product, it’s incredible. Yeah well, don’t mind the looks either.



    Tech: Technically the Nyquist has an ESS Sabre 9018S chip with 2 x 8 DACs, but the digital filters have been implemented outside the D/A chip in Brinkmann’s custom DSP; the Sabre does only D/A conversion. All PCM is upsampled to 352 kHz or 384 kHz. The DSD section is fully discrete, in-house developed and capable of quad DSD. All of the gadgetry sits in the user removable digital section enclosure, allowing replacement when a new DAC-chip-du-jour emerges. The power supply is housed in a separate enclosure for not to interfere with the sound.



    The output stage is built around NOS Telefunken PCF803 tubes. Analog filtering happens through Lundahl transformers. Connecting options are also plenty, every alternative covered.



    What’s there not to like, the spec sheet reads like a holiday wish list.

    Reviews: In Stereoplay Fremer liked it quite a bit, but JA was critical about some measurements and so it was heavily downgraded in the rankings. But no such mention in TAS, Stereo, Hi-Fi & Records or Audio - just high praise. Why might that be? Well, not the first time JA has attested bad measurement results to something that sounds great. At least I could not hear the slightest bit of anything that would have caused anything but sheer delight.



    Sound: Plenty of detail and clarity, yet without even a hint of sharpness - really remarkable. This DAC sounds like a top-grade vinyl player without the cracks and pops, which really is no wonder given Brinkmann’s stellar analogue track record. In case I have understood it correctly, vinyl also served as a sounding reference. It’s just wonderful.

    There’s a delicacy to the details in the highs, a holographic sound I guess attributable to the tubes. Mids are clear and full, without being outright warm, bass full, grippy and with a punch. I mostly listen to vinyl because I find it more relaxing, but with this DAC there simply is no listening fatigue at all.

    My main intention auditioning this DAC was initially to get a reference level opportunity to evaluate MQA (a few postings now in the MQA thread). I think this is the top option in the almost-affordable category up to 20K. The Berkeley Ref. is very nice, but it is just a renderer and needs to be fed with unfolded MQA material to fully decode (and does not have a CE approval for Europe due to some lead issues). The MSBs have a similar issue due to MQA being implemented only in the USB port, so other feeds don’t do MQA. PS Audio and Myteks cost a third or less of this one and are hence sound-wise understandably on a different planet, not even getting into the same solar system.

    For anyone into DSD, due to the discrete implementation the Nyquist does what any DAC level DSD implementation just cannot do. Superb DSD quality.

    But right now I don’t really care about the format, because everything sounds great. The sound is overall very un-digital, in a way an unusual and rare combination of fine detail retrieval w/o any edginess or sharpness, just a very balanced and natural sound.

    Long story short, this is easily the best DAC I have ever heard in my system - best without even trying. I liked the Nagra HD DAC in Munich, but it was maybe all-in-all a tad cold. A long time Meitner owner, I can assure it’s not even in the same league than the Brinkmann. MSB Analogue DAC sounds more digital, the Reference and Select I have not heard enough to really compare. Berkeley Ref is great and DCS top models are hard to beat, but I do like the Nyquist sound the best.



    And it really fits quite snugly into my rack, doesn’t it?
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: AMG V12 with Benz Micro Gullwing SLR MC/ Stillpoints LPI/ Grandinote Celio/ Aurender N100H with Curious USB/ Synology NAS with Roon with AQ Vodka RJ45/ Brinkmann Nyquist/ Ayre KX-5 Twenty/ Pass Labs X250.8/ WyWires Platinum IC + speaker + power cables/ Magico S3 mk2/ REL S5 SHO/ REL Blue/ Shunyata Triton+AlphaHC+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Ayre Codex/ Auralic Aries Mini/ Sbooster PSU/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 3PSR2/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Audirvana/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ HD Plex linear PSU/ Charleston Cable Company Cardas Custom/ Sennheiser HD800/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ AudioTekne Blue.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    Congrats. World class DAC. Killer system you have put together.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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  5. #3
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    Re: Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    Sweeeeet! Awesome! So happy for you. What a great DAC.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  7. #4
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    Re: Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    My dealer really likes this a lot and wants me to as well!

    I agree it reads impressive!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Power Conditioning and Filters: Nordost QRT Power Product Line
    Cables, Isolation, Reflection and Absorbtion: Nordost Reference Power & Interconnects, Ansuz C2/A2, HRS M3X Platforms, HRS Damping Plates, Stillpoint’s Isolators, Ansuz Darkz DTC and Vicoustic Room Treatments
    Power & Sound: D’Agostino Pre-Amplifier to D’Agostino Momentum Mono’s driving Wilson Alexia’s
    Source: Aurender N10, PS Audio Direct Stream and Memory Player

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  9. #5
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    Re: Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    Congrats! That's the DAC I drool over.
    Regards,
    Steve


    I only do what the voices in my wife's head tell her to tell me to do.

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  11. #6
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    Re: Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    Quote Originally Posted by j3brow View Post
    Congrats. World class DAC. Killer system you have put together.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Thanks, I think it really is. I was really surprised how extraordinarily good it sounds in my system.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: AMG V12 with Benz Micro Gullwing SLR MC/ Stillpoints LPI/ Grandinote Celio/ Aurender N100H with Curious USB/ Synology NAS with Roon with AQ Vodka RJ45/ Brinkmann Nyquist/ Ayre KX-5 Twenty/ Pass Labs X250.8/ WyWires Platinum IC + speaker + power cables/ Magico S3 mk2/ REL S5 SHO/ REL Blue/ Shunyata Triton+AlphaHC+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Ayre Codex/ Auralic Aries Mini/ Sbooster PSU/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 3PSR2/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Audirvana/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ HD Plex linear PSU/ Charleston Cable Company Cardas Custom/ Sennheiser HD800/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ AudioTekne Blue.

  12. #7
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    Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Sweeeeet! Awesome! So happy for you. What a great DAC.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks Mike, would fit into your line-up as well. It’s that good.

    ARC REF10, Pass X350.8, Magico M3 and the Brinkmann Nyquist - what a system.

    A word of caution: That system might affect the economy though, as people would not leave the house anymore .
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: AMG V12 with Benz Micro Gullwing SLR MC/ Stillpoints LPI/ Grandinote Celio/ Aurender N100H with Curious USB/ Synology NAS with Roon with AQ Vodka RJ45/ Brinkmann Nyquist/ Ayre KX-5 Twenty/ Pass Labs X250.8/ WyWires Platinum IC + speaker + power cables/ Magico S3 mk2/ REL S5 SHO/ REL Blue/ Shunyata Triton+AlphaHC+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Ayre Codex/ Auralic Aries Mini/ Sbooster PSU/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 3PSR2/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Audirvana/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ HD Plex linear PSU/ Charleston Cable Company Cardas Custom/ Sennheiser HD800/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ AudioTekne Blue.

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  14. #8
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    Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraFast69 View Post
    My dealer really likes this a lot and wants me to as well!

    I agree it reads impressive!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I cannot but to agree with your dealer, sometimes a man needs professional help...

    The specs were what I got intrigued about at the beginning, the sound is what got me attached.

    It does not come cheap, but this is a destination DAC.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: AMG V12 with Benz Micro Gullwing SLR MC/ Stillpoints LPI/ Grandinote Celio/ Aurender N100H with Curious USB/ Synology NAS with Roon with AQ Vodka RJ45/ Brinkmann Nyquist/ Ayre KX-5 Twenty/ Pass Labs X250.8/ WyWires Platinum IC + speaker + power cables/ Magico S3 mk2/ REL S5 SHO/ REL Blue/ Shunyata Triton+AlphaHC+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Ayre Codex/ Auralic Aries Mini/ Sbooster PSU/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 3PSR2/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Audirvana/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ HD Plex linear PSU/ Charleston Cable Company Cardas Custom/ Sennheiser HD800/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ AudioTekne Blue.

  15. #9
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    Re: Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    Quote Originally Posted by slowgeezr View Post
    Congrats! That's the DAC I drool over.
    Steve, I do see your vinyl postings and do like them a lot. This really is the one for you.

    This is the first DAC that makes me not to crave vinyl sound.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: AMG V12 with Benz Micro Gullwing SLR MC/ Stillpoints LPI/ Grandinote Celio/ Aurender N100H with Curious USB/ Synology NAS with Roon with AQ Vodka RJ45/ Brinkmann Nyquist/ Ayre KX-5 Twenty/ Pass Labs X250.8/ WyWires Platinum IC + speaker + power cables/ Magico S3 mk2/ REL S5 SHO/ REL Blue/ Shunyata Triton+AlphaHC+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Ayre Codex/ Auralic Aries Mini/ Sbooster PSU/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 3PSR2/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Audirvana/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ HD Plex linear PSU/ Charleston Cable Company Cardas Custom/ Sennheiser HD800/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ AudioTekne Blue.

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  17. #10
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    Re: Brinkmann Nyquist DAC - technical jewel with marvelous sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    This is the first DAC that makes me not to crave vinyl sound.
    That says something. Congrats!

    S3 mk2, Pass 250.8 and now this. You're moving fast.

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